Boarding Community Comes Together

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by Darin Steinkey, Timmis Senior Assistant House Parent

Summer on the Island may have been short on heat, but campus was smokin’ over the Labour Day weekend. Temperatures in the mid 30s greeted the newest cohort of boarding students, who were eager to see their dorm rooms and settle in to boarding life. My wife, Laurie Parker, is the Senior Assistant house parent in Timmis House, so she is close to the action. She says the most frequently asked question of the weekend was “Is this what the weather is always like?”

Admissions, Brown Hall and the house staff provided a warm welcome with dinners, BBQs, tours and words of advice. A whirlwind bus tour of Heirloom Linens, Mayfair Mall and Staples ensured everyone was hot on the trail of the essentials for their new dorm room.

The new boarder orientation drew 150 people from four continents and 12 countries. SMUS will have to do some flag shopping because the group included our first boarding students from Poland and Belgium. Other flags flying on campus for the 2011/2012 school year include the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Taiwan, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Mexico, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Germany, China, Brazil, the British West Indies and the United States.

The most anticipated event of the weekend wasn’t the Link Leader activities led by Keith Driscoll or the first meal in Brown Hall, it was, of course, roommate introductions. It is a nervous time for the students because they will spend the next eight months in close proximity to one another. One of the greatest aspects of boarding is learning to live with people you’ve never met and take the opportunity to expand your understanding of other cultures.

This weekend will include our opening Chapel Service and House Games, house picnics and all sorts of ice-breaker activities. It is a full slate for the weekend and we are expecting great weather again.

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